India holds Ireland to 259 in World Cup Pool B match
HAMILTON, New Zealand (AP) — Niall O’Brien made 75 and captain William Porterfield scored 67 after winning the toss and batting first but Ireland came up short Tuesday when it was dismissed for 259 in its Cricket World Cup match against India.
Porterfield put on 89 with Paul Stirling (42) in the largest opening partnership for Ireland against a top-eight team to put the innings on a sound footing and left his team 145-3 when he was out in the 32nd over.
O’Brien then guided the innings through the fall of the next four wickets and into the 43rd over, matching the highest score by an Ireland batsman against India. Porterfield set the mark at 75 in 2011.
O’Brien was also one run short of Misbah-ul-Haq’s 76 — the highest individual score against India in this tournament.
Ireland’s decision to bat was testament to its new-found confidence to be able to compete against top-tier nations, including India, which is unbeaten after four matches at this World Cup and sits atop Pool B.
Although Ireland played well at the start of the match, outstanding bowling by India’s spinners and some reckless batting saw the squad fall short of a par score.
Seddon Park’s short boundaries routinely produce scores in excess of 300 — South Africa scored 331-7 against Zimbabwe in the first Cup match at the venue on Feb. 15 — and Ireland’s score seems unlikely to test India’s in-form batsmen.
After Porterfield and Stirling raced out to a fast start, reaching 57-0 by the 10th over, India captain M.S. Dhoni was forced to turn to his spinners to curb the run rate. Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli then bowled a block of 22 overs relying exclusively on spin to capture two wickets, including Porterfield’s, and slow Ireland’s progress.
O’Brien was able to re-establish some of Ireland’s early momentum with a 61-run partnership with Andy Balbirnie (24) for the fourth wicket. But after he and Balbirnie took Ireland to 206-3 in the 39th over, Balbirnie was dismissed and Ireland lost the next five wickets for 21 runs.
Kevin O’Brien fell for 1, Gary Wilson for 6, Stuart Thompson for 2 — run out — and George Dockrell for 6. O’Brien also fell during that period, caught by Yadav from Mohammed Shami’s bowling in the 43rd over at 226-7.
John Mooney and Alex Cusack added 21 for the last wicket in a small act of resistance.
Mohammed Shami took 3-41, while the spinners shared 30 overs and four wickets at a cost of 144 runs or 4.8 runs per over.